This beautiful species of Oryx, also known as Sahara Oryx, were once widespread across North Africa but became extinct in the wild around 2000.
How sad is this! – and whatever could have caused it?
In short….. human disturbance, over-hunting, drought and loss of food due to excessive livestock grazing were all reasons for this elegant antelope to diminish so drastically in the wild.
Scimitar Oryx are supremely adapted to desert life, and can dissipate heat through their appendages, so their extinction is particularly onerous for conservation today.
These antelope are amazing in that they are able to tolerate an internal body temperature of 116 deg Fahrenheit do not need to sweat much, so can therefore conserve water. They rid themselves of excess heat at night when their body temps can drop well below normal.
So, despite their developed adaptation abilities, these graceful Antelope have become seriously threatened in the last two decades.
Conservation Scientists are presently working on reintroduction programs in Tunisia, Chad and Niger, and we are happy to report that our Karoo programs in this arena have been enormously successful.
Lifespan of Scimitar Oryx in the wild is unknown, but it is thought that with human care, they can live well into their 20’s.
On our Karoo farm just south of Richmond in the Northern Cape, we have found our Scimitar to be perfectly well adapted to the Karoo climate and conditions; they reproduce well, a most telling sign of good adaptation.
We need to keep our Scimitar Oryx separate from the generic Karoo Gemsbok to prevent interbreeding, so have them roaming Vlei Camp, which covers approximately 3000 hectares of Karoo Veld.
We #LoveOurKaroo – and all that we protect within this biosphere!